India to launch 3G services by late 2007 - Maran

CIOL Bureau
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 NEW DELHI  - India expects to launch 3G mobile telephone services in the second half of 2007, telecoms minister Dayanidhi Maran said.


"The process for introducing 3G service has already been initiated in India, and it is expected that we should be able to launch 3G services by the latter half of 2007," Maran told an industry conference.

India recently allowed four major carriers, including Bharti Airtel Ltd., to conduct indoor trials of mobile services based on the 3G spectrum so they could test equipment.

Maran is expected to announce more details of India's third-generation (3G) spectrum policy on Wednesday afternoon.


Carriers can offer services such as faster Internet access, movies on demand, and high-end online gaming on the 3G spectrum.

The minister also said the government aimed to provide one mobile phone for every two rural households by 2010 -- about 80 million connections.

Every village with a population of more than 1,000 will be hooked up to the existing network by the end of 2007, Maran said.

"One of the gaps in India's mobile success story has been the relative absence of the participation of rural India, which has to date remained somewhat isolated from the many benefits of mobile services owing to inadequate coverage," he said.

Maran also said he wanted to increase access to broadband Internet services in villages, adding that the main hurdle would be providing a useful service where few can read English.